Kharysma Bryant’s season-high 14 points lifts the Purple Eagles
By: David Yarger
NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, NY- In front of a jubilant crowd at the Gallagher Center celebrating senior day on Saturday, the Purple Eagles women’s basketball team defeated the Saint Peters Peacocks 71-63.
Before the game, two senior players, Tiffany Corselli and Emily Granruth, were honored for their achievements at Niagara. Both players were also starters in the game.
Corselli, from Yonkers, NY, has scored 582 points in her career at Niagara and her career high was 24 vs. Canisius on Jan. 28, 2016.
Granruth, from Marshall, VA, had her career high in points with 11, draining three 3-pointers vs. Syracuse on Dec. 10, 2016.
The game was back-and-forth throughout, having 13 lead changes.
St. Peters got off to a quick 7-2 lead behind the power of Sajanna Bethea. Bethea ended up with her fourth double-double of the season in the loss, having 18 points and 11 rebounds. St. Peters led at the end of the first quarter 18-17.
In the second quarter, Bryant scored four straight points to give the Purple Eagles the lead, 21-19. The lead continued to change, but at halftime St. Peters held a 33-32 lead.
Niagara came out in the second half and began to slowly pull away from the Peacocks. Victoria Rampado and Kaylee Stroemple both had double-doubles, the first time this season multiple players have accomplished the feat in the same game.
Rampado’s eighth double-double of the season consisted of 15 points and 11 rebounds, while Stroemple’s second included 11 points and 10 rebounds.
By the end of the third quarter the Purple Eagles led 52-47.
In the fourth quarter NU extended the lead as high as 13. Corselli added a 3-pointer and a free throw, finishing with 10 points.
Niagara won the battle of bench points, outscoring St. Peters 29-13. Bryant’s 14 off the bench and Jamie Sherburne’s 12 factored in for 26 of those points.
When the final horn sounded, the scoreboard read 71-63, in favor of Niagara.
The loss for the Peacocks drops their record to 3-24 overall and 2-16 in league. Along with Bethea, Sammy Lochner added 13 points with three 3-pointers. The Peacocks next contest is at Iona at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 22.
For the victorious Purple Eagles, they improve to 8-19 overall and 5-13 in league. They have two games remaining before the MAAC tournament, which will both be played on the road. The first of those games is at Rider at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 24.